Older children need a mum too

Son

Alli Marshall reflects on the challenge of sharing love between her children.

During the Christmas holidays I spent a wonderful day at home with my Husband and 4 children, my 3 older children all own the latest electronic devices and I do limit the time they are allowed to spend on them; however on this day I banned them totally and told the children that they would need to entertain themselves using “old fashioned” methods such as reading or doing some crafts.

My Daughter decided that she would build a wooden desk tidy that she had received for Christmas, she enjoys doing arts and crafts and is quite a professional and so she simply set herself up at the dining room table and set about her task.

The boys though were a completely different matter; they like the idea of building models but their attention spans are limited.  Both of them had received woodcraft construction kits for Christmas and decided that they wanted to build these.  My Husband helped our middle Son with his jet plan and I helped our eldest Son with his motorbike.

Middle Son was finished quite quickly, as Husband did do most of the construction –myself & eldest Son took somewhat longer; we spent over 4 hours building the model, which is probably the most quality time we have spent together for a long time.  Eldest Son is 12 now and so his reliance on Mum is now mainly limited to taxi services & food provision or so I thought!

My eldest Son thanked me when the model was complete and told me that he had really enjoyed spending the time with me & hoped that we could do it again soon – it made me realise that no matter how old my children are they still require quality one on one time with Mum.

I make sure I spend time with my youngest Son (17 months) playing games with him and entertaining him yet at some point I stopped doing this with my older Son thinking that he no longer needed or wanted this interaction.

I was wrong – my eldest Son still wants time with Mum and so I have resolved to spend more time with him in 2012.

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  • http://twitter.com/claireejeffreys Claire Jeffreys

    I completely agree. My children are still young (eldest is 4) but I have older nieces and nephews and often they need more attention and interaction than the younger ones. Older kids are more likely to complain that they’re bored and look to you for stimulation/entertainment. Sounds like you all had a really fun time! :)

  • Nikki Thomas

    It’s true that we do forget sometimes that our older children do still need us, we just assume because of the attitude and bravado that can come with the onset of the teenage years, that they don’t! My eldest is 16 and I often feel guilty as he has three much younger siblings and I worry sometimes that I don’t give him enough time. We always try and include him in family activities and I chat to him about stuff going on in his life. He is very independent but when he got dumped by his girlfriend recently he came to me in tears, so you always need your mum however old you are.

  • Lauren Lloyd

    What a great blog – great to be reminded of how the eldest needs attention too.  I know I often leave my eldest to get on with her own thing, when actually she just wants to spend some one to one time with me or her daddy.  You’ve reminded me to put a couple of special things in the diary to make sure she has exclusive time with us too – a bit of climbing with daddy and going to the cinema with me.  Thanks Alli.